MMO Money: A Week of Lawsuits and Nintendo Being Awesome

Lawsuits abound this week in the online gaming world with both Activision Blizzard and Epic Games the focus of new lawsuits. Meanwhile, Nintendo gives us a much-needed breath of fresh air with how they treat gamers and their employees. Bidding for Nexon is set to begin in April with the list of bidders reduced to just 5. Find all of this and more in this week’s MMO Money.

 

Nexon Shortlists Five Bidders for the Company

There has been quite a lot of interest in Nexon recently from major companies around the world including Disney, EA, Comcast, Tencent, and many others. But, Nexon has now lowered that list to just 5 bidders. Those five include Tencent and Kakao Corp. along with three private equity firms, Bain Capital, MBK Partners, and an unidentified firm. Quite significantly Netmarble isn’t included in this list. Netmarble had been putting together a consortium of Korean firms to bid together, believing that selling to an overseas company will damage the local games industry. In fact, this may be why we don’t see any Western-based interests in the shortlist. Bidding for the 98.64% share of Nexon that is expected to be worth as much as $13.3 billion is expected to begin in early April.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nintendo Asks Mobile Partners to Stop Players From Spending So Much

In a time when it seems like all game companies are after is your money Nintendo comes out and gives you a little bit of faith in the industry once more. The company is concerned with its self-image and has asked some of its mobile game development partners to adjust the microtransactions in their games so players are less likely to overspend. A source at CyberAgent, who owns the developers of Dragalia Lost told the Wall Street Journal, “Nintendo is not interested in making a large amount of revenue from a single smartphone game. If we managed the game alone, we would have made a lot more.”

This also comes less than a week after a recruitment page for Nintendo shed some light on what it’s like working for the company. The average salary is ¥9.03 million, that’s $80,000, employees can potentially get bonuses in June and December plus a pay increase every April. The average workday at Nintendo is seven hours and forty-five minutes long. As if all of that doesn’t already sound amazing full-time employees stay at the company for an average of 13.5 years. Anyone familiar with the games industry in the West will know that developers tend not to stay in one company for very long. If you’re interested in knowing more about that check out this article from Polygon.

From a personal point of view both of these pieces of news make me more likely to look at Nintendo games and support what they’re doing. Their views and the way they treat their employees is a breath of fresh air in the games industry today.

 

Source: Wall Street Journal, Games Industry

 

 

Vivendi Sells Remaining Ubisoft Shares

Ubisoft Joins Forces With Horror Movie Studio

Its been almost a year since Vivendi announced it was going to stop trying to acquire Ubisoft and finally the remaining shares it had in the company have been sold. The remaining shares it had was about 5% of the company, €429 million.

At one point in time, Vivendi owned a 27.3% stake in the company and though its attempts to own the company completely failed they did bring in about €2 billion, a capital gain of €1.2 billion. Though they failed to achieve their original goal you can hardly call the entire thing a failure. I’d love to fail my way to €2 billion, that’s about $2.2 billion USD. Vivendi has stated that they will honor their agreement and not buy shares in Ubisoft for at least 5 years.

Vivendi had previously owned Activision Blizzard but it sold the company to an investment group led by Bobby Kotick and Brian Kelly for $8.2 billion. That deal pushed Vivendi out of the games industry for 3 years until it bought its way back in with a hostile takeover of Gameloft.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

A New Law firm is Encouraging Shareholders to Sue Activision Blizzard Over Bungie Split

Another law firm is inviting shareholders to join in a class action lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, accusing the company of misleading shareholders over the end of its partnership with Bungie. The firm’s loss submission form makes the following claims:

Activision failed to disclose that “the termination of Activision Blizzard and Bungie’s partnership… was imminent”

That this termination “would foreseeably have a significant negative impact on Activision Blizzard’s revenues.”

And as a result “Activision Blizzard’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all times.”

Activision Blizzard previously said that the split from Bungie was because Destiny 2 failed to meet financial expectations. But in a recent SEC filing, the company recognized $164 million in revenue from Destiny for 2018 as a result of the split.

This comes at a time when shareholders for Activision Blizzard aren’t too happy with the company. They’ve had to warn investors that cutting hundreds of jobs (800 in total) may damage the company. They even went so far as to say there can be “no assurance that our business will be more efficient or effective” than it was before this new strategy.

Why can’t you be more like Nintendo?

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Man Sues Epic Games Over Predatory Loot Boxes

While we’re on the topic of lawsuits we should mention that Epic Games is being sued, yet again. This time though it isn’t because they used a dance in their game, instead it’s over allegations that Epic Games has engaged in predatory schemes with loot boxes in Fortnite. They allege that Epic intentionally designed Save the World to hinder player’s progress if they didn’t spend real money. They also say that Epic has “made a fortune on in-game purchases, preying in large part on minors who are especially susceptible to such predatory tactics.” The lawsuit accuses Epic of violating California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, False Advertising Law, and Unfair Competition Law.

What the lawsuit doesn’t mention though is that since January Epic Games now shows the contents of loot llamas in Save the World before they’re purchased with V-Bucks. So it is possible that the lawsuit won’t go anywhere since they’ve already made changes to the areas that the lawsuit covers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Bungie and Activision Part Ways

If there is one headline you’re going to see quite a lot of today it is that Bungie and Activision part ways seemingly amicably. The two started working together in 2010 and have since created Destiny and Destiny 2, games that have together delivered more than 50 million games and expansions to players around the world.

The announcement of the separation came via the Bungie website which stated “We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.”

There is no date for when Bungie will be fully independent again, thought the announcement does state that they’re already in the early phases of the separation. They also stress that they will be making the transition as seamless as possible for players. This includes service for Destiny 2 on BattleNet where the game will continue to get full support on the client side.

This also comes at a bit of a bad time for Activision. Just yesterday new divisional presidents within Activision were announced. Meanwhile on the Blizzard side of Activision-Blizzard things are looking rather grim. Mike Morhaime, the former President and co-founder of Blizzard is stepping down from his advisory position with the company after having left his position in October. Over the last few months, there have been a number of notable departures from the company along with reports of a massive shift in the culture at Blizzard. All of this leaving fans wondering what is going on at Activision-Blizzard.

As for Bungie, this is seen by many as a good move for them. Back in June, they received a more than $100 million investment from Netease that will allow the company to create new worlds, moving away from Destiny. Bungie has filed a trademark for something called Matter, but so far, whatever that is hasn’t been announced.

What do you think about this move? Does it spell doom for Bungie or is this exactly what the company needed? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Source: Bungie Official Site

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Destiny 2 Talks Malfeasance, October Updates and Last Wish Raid

It’s a pretty loaded Bungie weekly newsletter this week for fans of Destiny 2, with a number of new details including adjustments to the Malfeasance quest in Gambit, what happens next with the Last Wish raid, and upcoming updates and events due to the MMOFPS in October. So let’s get started.

bungie weekly newsletter

Regarding Malfeasance and its quest steps during Gambit, the devs will be adjusting the spawn rate of the Ascendant Primeval Servitor, which is a required kill in order to unlock the hand cannon. During the third week of the curse cycle that affects the Dreaming City zone, the Primeval Servitor will have as frequent of a chance to spawn as any other Primeval. There will also be increased spawn rates for this mob during lesser curse weeks, but it will still be less frequent than during the curse’s apex.

In other Gambit news, tweaks are being made that will introduce quit penalties to the mode and adjust the amount of Power ammo you get from Power Ammo Crates for the Sleeper Simulant and sword Power weapons.

The newsletter also brought an update calendar for the month of October, which will see two patches to the game.

  • Update 2.0.4 (Oct. 16) will bring several new Legendary weapons, increase scout rifle damage in PvE and against mobs in Gambit, and will start off the Festival of the Lost Halloween event.
  • Update 2.0.5 (tentatively Oct. 30) will introduce slight damage increases to swords and fusion rifles in PvE, improve viability of the Malfeasance hand cannon in PvE and Gambit, and make adjustments to reduce Exotic duplicate drops. Bear in mind, however, that these updates may be delayed.

Finally, the raid team checked in with confirmation that the Last Wish raid will not be getting a harder difficulty mode:

“We focused on creating one definitive version of Last Wish with no qualifiers attached to it. We wanted to create an experience that offered the truest forms of every encounter from day one, and offered some of the most powerful rewards in the game to anyone who could succeed.”

As for what’s next for those who live to raid, a new raid lair is due to arrive this December as part of the Black Armory Annual Pass content.

Our Thoughts

An easier quest step for Malfeasance, less Exotic duplicates, PvE damage adjustments, and Halloween. Sounds like a pretty good series of updates to us!

Source: Bungie website

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Destiny 2 Solstice of Heroes Guide

With Destiny 2 Forsaken on the horizon, it’s time to take a look at the ups (Warmind) and downs (the rest) of Destiny 2’s year one activities with the month-long Solstice of Heroes event and its rewards. The following is a guide for how to unlock and upgrade your shiny new event armor, the only way to obtain level 400 armor before Forsaken (the weapons are available from the prestige raid lairs).

 

When Is Solstice of Heroes Active?

From July 31st until August 28th, 2018.

Do I Need Forsaken Pre-Ordered to Take Part in the Solstice of Heroes Event?

No. The Solstice event is available to everyone with the base game, you don’t need Forsaken, Curse of Osiris, or Warmind to take part. Every event, activity or quest is based on just the base game activities.

Can I Still Do These Activities After the Event?

No.

Aside from the Armor, What Else Is There to Unlock?

Alongside the Solstice of Heroes, the event also has several Moments of Triumph achievements and rewards. These can be found from the statue in the Tower (which has two pages) and are retroactive (aside from one to do 25 heroic public events). These can be completed by checking your activity tab like any other bounty. Completing these rewards you with points that count towards unlocking several time-sensitive rewards.

Base Rewards: an Emblem
150 Points: A legendary Ghost shell
250 points: Discount code for a special T-Shirt at the Bungie store.
300 Points: A Legendary 160 speed Sparrow
400 Points: Another Emblem

As well as a special exotic ship only for people who unlock the legendary armor sets on all 3 character slots.

…And Eververse?

Yeah, yeah… Eververse has a new selection of new Exotic sparrows, Ghost shells and emotes as well as a select few Glows for the new event armors. Players get one new engram per character as well as getting both an event engram and Warmind prototype engram per level up (even at max level), along with the Bright Dust shop offering a selection of exclusively Solace items for the Bright Dust.

How Do I Unlock the Armor?

When entering the tower, a statue of 3 Guardians will appear in the middle of the main tower. Interacting with this statue will load you into… Well, it’s cool and I won’t spoil it. Accept the quest in the middle of the area and you will be teleported to a reworked version of the first ever quest, Homecoming. This is the first of the 5 Redux quests and is a more improved version of the original quest, although, Homecoming is by far the easiest of the 5 Redux missions. Upon completion, you are teleported back to the Tower. Interact with the statue again to gain your first set of armor, the Scorched set.

Wait, You Mentioned Level 400 Armor? This is a Light Level 200 Green Set.

Yep, welcome to the main event of this event. Your armor, based on the broken set from the first few missions, is upgraded by completing tasks found on the armor. The armor will go from the uncommon Scorched set to the rare Rekindled set to the final legendary Resplendent set. Upon unlocking the 3rd stage, the final set of (extremely challenging) objectives unlocks the Masterworked set.

And no, you cannot Infuse or Masterwork these items otherwise.

What Are Elemental Orbs?

In order to gain Elemental Orbs, the player needs to have a full set of the event armor on at all times. This means you can’t use any exotics or level 385 armor items. The Orbs will drop depending on your current spec and the element of weapons used. They drop rarely from red bar enemies and much more often from orange bar and mini-bosses.

Do I Always Need to Use the Full Set of Armor to Finish Challenges?

No, aside from the parts that require orbs you only need to use the item you’re completing the upgrade for. So, if your helm needs you to kill 10 Guardians, you only need to wear your helm.

I like How My Armor Looks Now, Can I Keep This Look and Upgrade It?

No need, when you unlock your legendary set, the armor will let you change its appearance to the two previous sets. You can also change the shader from Rare quality onward.

How Do I Complete These Challenges?

Ok, here is what 90% of you came for.

 

 

Titan

Upgrade to Rare

Helm

Complete The Spark Redux mission – Welcome to hell; The Spark is one of the hardest missions of the bunch. It IS possible to solo, however the amount of Elite large Shanks that can destroy you very quickly can be hard to overcome. Some advice would be to not go in gaining Orbs. Either only use the helm to upgrade and use high-level armor and exotics. The final boss, a Servitor, seems to be easy, but it’s a trap. When he dies he splits into a lot of elite Servitors, which will destroy you in seconds if you’re not careful. A Roaming super will make quick work of this.

150 Arc Orbs – These can be gained anywhere with no restrictions. Doing quests or activities with a large amount of elite (orange bar) level mobs helps a lot. Starting a Nightfall is a good way to do this as they have many elite enemies. This can be done solo, if you don’t mind wiping over and over again (this is actually the point) Redux missions are also a great way of doing this.

10 kills in the Crucible – Make sure to use Graviton Lance for this. It’s not needed in any way shape or form, but it’s a wonderful broken mess at the moment so you know the drill.

Arms

Complete Homecoming Redux mission – You’ve already done this one, it’s the same as the start. Enjoy how easy it is for now; 1AU is coming.

90 Solar Orbs in Strikes – Can be done by wiping in Nightfall solo, or from Vanguard strikes… DO NOT DO HEROIC STRIKES YOU WILL BE SHREDDED

Complete a meditation with Ikora – Meditations can be found by talking to Ikora in the Tower, Do one of the base game missions.

Chest

Complete the Chosen Redux mission – This quest is hard, as it’s the final mission of the classic campaign ending in the fight with Gary. In this encounter, you won’t get the pools of light or the phase changes like in the base campaign. He has all 3 of his forms from the start and is ALWAYS aggressively rushing you. The best way to counter this if solo is to use your Solar Super and Sleeper Simulant to burst him down. Alternatively, join a fireteam. Either way, if he focuses on you, keep moving. He can drain your shields in seconds and slow you down.

90 Void Orbs in the EDZ – Doing an Earth based Redux mission is the fastest way to do this (Homecoming springs to mind). Graviton Lance an amazing gun to use here. Also, doing Heroic Public events, especially Glimmer Drill, work as a good way to combine doing this part as well as the next.

Complete 10 Heroic public events – Either do them on Earth or the weekly spot. If you’re in a hurry keep away from Taken Blight, as there is always someone running around destroying the smaller Blights.

Legs

1AU Redux mission – Get a fireteam. This can be done Solo, but it is a terribly long and unforgiving mission and easily the most difficult of the 5. Scout rifles help as well as Rockets or any other high AoE weapons. If you have the Whisper Sniper rifle, prepare to love it.

30 Super kills in the Crucible – This is one of the more annoying ones to pull off. Roaming supers and 6v6 is the best way to get this normally. However, the 7th of August the weekly PvP event will be Mayhem, which will speed things up considerably.

50 mini-bosses killed – It seems daunting, but I actually managed this almost by mistake. Doing Heroic Public events and the Redux missions will speed this up considerably.

Class Item

Payback Redux mission – This can be either quite easy or extremely hard depending on how you play it, Take your time, use the tank from range and don’t run in blindly; you can’t respawn your tank and the pads only heal it for a small amount. At the end, you can easily kill the mini boss with either a Sleeper Simulant or a good sniper rifle, just remember to watch your back for enemies.

150 Void Orbs – Follow the advice given above, Graviton Lance helps considerably.

Complete 10 Patrols – Any planet, any Patrol. Not much advice to give here.

Titan Upgrade to Lenegary

Head

Chosen Redux mission – Same as above.

200 Solar Super kills – Adventures with Thrall work best here. Make sure to use masterwork weapons to increase your recharge rate.

Complete the Nightfall (Normal) – Guided games works here, but if you are a solo player, check the Bungie.org Looking for Fireteam, or check on /r/Destinythegame for people boosting (DON’T MAKE A NEW THREAD ABOUT IT CHECK THE RESOURCE PAGE).

Arms

Complete the Payback Redux mission – See above and use a Solar energy weapon to speed part 2 of this up

160 Solar Energy weapon kills – Doesn’t matter which. Skyburners and Sunshot work well, but any old energy weapon with a Solar mod will do fine.

Complete three heroic Strikes – Only use this piece of armor for this. Heroic Strikes are still 350 and while it will be possible with high level weapons, best be safe.

Chest

Complete the 1AU Redux mission – See above and FIRETEAM.

120 Arc grenade kills – Incredibly easy if you own the Skullfort exotic helm. Simply find an area with a constant stream of low health mobs and use shoulder charge to reset your melee damage. Pulse Grenades work best for this.

Win 5 Playlist Crucible matches – These can’t be private, so either buddy up or get lucky (or skill… you know)

Legs

Spark Redux mission – See above and MANY SERVITORS HANDLE IT

60 void melee kills – Use the top tier of the Sentinel tree; when Defensive strikes is active, all melee kills will count as Void, so find some Thrall and get punching. It is also possible to use a Void sword (even one without ammo) to do this, but I have no idea if this is a bug or if/when they will hotfix it.

Complete 10 Adventures – Each world vendor has 3-4 Adventures you can replay, I BELIEVE you can also do heroic Adventures but I forgot to check this so don’t take that as fact. Also find a device to watch or listen to something in the background with this because it’s going to get very boring.

Class Item

Homecoming Redux mission – See above.

80 Arc power weapon kills – Simple enough. World Line Zero will speed this up to no end.

Kill 500 Monsters – Any kind and from anywhere, just go crazy.

 

 

Many of these are Repeats of the Titan unlocks just in different orders, so if no Tips are given, check above for my recommendations.

 

 

Warlock

Upgrade to Rare

Head

Complete the Spark Redux mission – “Knock knock.” Who’s there? “30000 Servitors.” 30000 Servitors wh–AAAARGH!!

30 kills with your Super in the Crucible – Mayhem, use a Roaming super.

10 Crucible kills

Arms

Complete the Homecoming Redux mission

90 Arc Orbs in Strikes

Complete a meditation with Ikora

Chest

Complete the Chosen Redux mission

Collect 150 Solar Orbs

Complete 10 Heroic public events

Legs

Complete the 1AU Redux mission – I will see orange bar Phalanxes in my nightmares.

90 Void Orbs in the EDZ

Defeat 50 mini-bosses

Class-Item

Complete the Payback Redux mission

Collect 150 Void Orbs

Complete 10 patrols – Remember they are removing Cayde’s lines from these, so get the memories/ugly cries in while you can.

Rare to Legendary Unlock

Head

Complete the Chosen Redux mission

160 Void energy weapon kills – Graviton Lance is your BFF

Complete the Nightfall – DFA won’t drop just so you know.

Arms

Payback Redux mission

60 arc melee kills – Thrall and Chain Lightning work best

Complete three heroic Strikes

Chest

1AU Redux mission – *shudders forever*

120 Solar grenade kills – Sunbreakers are almost needed here.

Win 5 Playlist Crucible matches – Still non-private

Legs

Complete the Spark Redux mission

200 Arc Super kills

Complete 10 Adventures

Class Item

Complete the Homecoming Redux mission

80 Solar power weapon kills

Get 500 kills

 

 

 

Hunter

Hunter Uncommon to Rare upgrade

Head

Complete the Spark Redux mission

90 Solar Orbs in the EDZ

10 kills in the Crucible

Arms

Complete the Homecoming Redux mission

Collect 150 Arc Orbs

Complete a meditation with Ikora

Chest

Complete the Chosen Redux mission

Collect 90 Arc Orbs in Strikes

Complete 10 heroic public events

Legs

Complete the 1AU Redux mission

150 Void Orbs

Defeat 50 mini-bosses

Class Item

Complete the Payback Redux mission

Get 30 kills with your Super in the Crucible

Complete 10 Patrols

Hunter Rare to Legendary upgrade

Head

Complete the Chosen Redux mission

160 Void energy weapon kills

Complete the Nightfall

Arms

Complete the Payback Redux mission

120 Void grenade kills

Complete three heroic Strikes

Chest

Complete the 1AU Redux mission

80 Solar power weapon kills

Win five Playlist Crucible matches

Legs

Complete the Spark Redux mission

60 Solar melee kills – At the time of Writing, killing enemies with a Solar sword with no ammo counts towards this.

Complete 10 Adventures

Class Item

Complete the Homecoming Redux mission

200 Arc Super kills

Complete 20 challenges – These can be done on any planet, Strike or Crucible.

 

 

Masterwork Challenges (all Classes)

 

Finishing these will unlock the masterwork option and grant you 5 Masterwork cores needed to upgrade the item. Also, unlike the past 2 grinds, you do not need to finish all the items in order to unlock the masterwork for each item; they can be done individually.

Head

Complete the Prestige Nightfall within the point threshold – Check the reward emblem from the Nightfall in question to get the score needed.

Arms

Complete five heroic strikes in a group with at least one clanmate

Chest

Complete the Prestige Leviathan raid

Legs

Reach the Valor rank of Legend in the Crucible – If this is causing a problem, enter a Crucible match with the armor on and wait for the end.

Class Item

Defeat 10 bosses – Strike, Raid and Heroic Public event Bosses count, Lost sectors and Patrol chest mobs do not.

 

 

 

A Special thanks to Reddit users Uberwolf_ and RiseofBacon for their guides

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Destiny 2 2018 Developer Update: The Comprehensive Breakdown

Destiny 2 has endured something of a battering lately. From our own humble review that called it’s latest DLC a low point in the franchise to the general backlash from what might be one of the most optimistic and supportive communities a game could hope for. Even with the developers of the game announcing a new path forward and new things to do to hopefully bring people back on board, the disaster that was the Dawning and its over-reliance on microtransactions for the players to really earn any kind of rewards whatsoever, as well as several other mishaps like locking players out of content that was once available freely in game unless they upgrade to the new DLC, it left many, this author included, apprehensive to believe much had or would change.

Yesterday evening, after a long holiday break, Bungie finally set in stone their plans and actions to alleviate much of what the community and game critics have leveled at the game and its dev team in hopes of keeping players onboard the Destiny 2 experience.

In this article, we have taken the time to break down the planned changes and give you our thoughts on if these changes will be enough to right the ever listing Destiny 2 ship. If you would prefer a shorter recap of all the details, our news team has broken them down for you here.

 

Expansion and Seasons Content Blocks

The first thing mentioned was the difference in content between Seasons and Expansions. This was a key point of community contention at the launch of DLC 1: The Curse of Osiris with past options like the Nightfall, and even the Weekly events, being removed from the base game and locked behind a paywall, a disastrous decision that thankfully was reverted pretty quickly, The new plan is summed up in the following image:

Destiny 2 2018 Developer Update

Our Thoughts:

With the events like Faction rewards and Iron Banner being firmly locked into the base game, one has to wonder why this is even something they should have to reaffirm in the first place. Removing content from the base game is just such a poorly thought out and ludicrous idea that I have no real clue as to how it got past the design stage and how they expected it to play out. Still, glad to have it set going forward.

 

Eververse

We recognize that the scales are tipped too far towards Tess at the moment, and Eververse was never intended to be a substitute for end game content and rewards. So, we’ll be making three changes for upcoming Seasons:

  • We’re shifting the balance of new content in favor of activity rewards over Bright Engrams. This includes adding Ghosts, Sparrows, and ships (to date found only in Bright Engrams) to achievement reward pools.
  • We’ll provide a gameplay path to earn Bright Engrams and all contained rewards (including Event Engrams).
  • We’ll give players more direct purchase options and make adjustments to Bright Engrams to allow players to get the items they want more often.

We’ve begun implementing these changes for the Crimson Days event beginning February 13 (with even more changes on the way in Season 3):

  • Completing Nightfall, Raid, and Crimson Days milestones during Crimson Days will reward you an exclusive Legendary Emote, Weapon Skin, and Exotic Sparrow, respectively.
  • Players will earn double engrams at level-up: one Crimson Engram and one Illuminated Engram for the duration of the event.
  • Crimson Engrams can also drop from completing the Crimson Days match and from completing the Crimson Days milestone on each character.
  • Each Crimson Engram is very strongly weighted to new rewards when decrypted until all new event items have been obtained.

Our Thoughts:

Of all the changes, this is the most important and hopefully, the one they get the most right. In the current game, the Eververse is almost the sole way to really acquire end game rewards. With the Raid and Trial armor not really offering the defined power boost it has done in the past, the pursuit of Cosmetic items has been relegated almost entirely to the realm of the random chance predatory loot box. Gaining these rewards through gameplay was a boring, grindy, and usually unrewarding affair. If you wanted a certain emote, the only way to get it was to either grind the 3 easy weekly rewards on your 3 characters, grind an uncomfortable amount after that when the x3 Weekly buff ran out, or pay for the chance to possibly get the rewards you need.

Cosmetics in these games are, no matter what anyone says on the subject, an incredibly important part of any multiplayer game. Players in games like WoW and the Original Halo games would, and do, go above and beyond in order to get their onscreen avatar to look how they want. One only needs to look at a game like Dark Souls and its burgeoning Fashion Souls sub-genre to see this in action. Removing these rewards from the Eververse and placing them back into the gameplay loop is a much-needed change and one that frankly should never have been removed in the first place. Giving people a path to these rewards is undoubtedly important to the survival of the game.

I don’t want to see something as important to the lore as Saint-14’s ship locked unceremoniously behind a paywall again. I’d rather work long and hard to unravel a mystery to unlock it myself.

 

XP Rates

We are still investigating changes to XP earn rates. Our goal with any updates to XP are transparency and consistent XP gain regardless of your preferred activity. Right now, it’s too slow in general and lopsided towards grinding specific activities (which is not a fun grind) and we want to fix that without making those activities low value to players who aren’t grinding them (fairness is cool). Our first attempt turned out to be unworkable and buggy so we’re having to investigate other angles. We will continue to update you as we move forward.

Our Thoughts:

Not much to say here, exp gain within Destiny 2 at times feels broken and lopsided. Fixing this will enable players who want to keep up with those of us who can stomach farming Public events over and over again to still gain the rewards when all they want to do is mess about in the Crucible.

 

Road Map for Content in 2018

January 30 Update

Masterwork Armor

We are expanding the Masterwork system to include armor.

  • Masterwork Armor provides increased damage reduction while using your Super.
  • You can reroll the armor stat type on Masterwork Armor, and similar to Masterwork weapons, you can upgrade a piece of armor to Masterwork by spending Masterwork Cores and Legendary Shards.

Our Thoughts:

The Masterwork system has been one of the few good things added in the Curse expansion, so extending it to armor is a good move. Still, the buff itself feels weak, with supers already offering a considerable amount of protection outside of PVP, and this still doesn’t add much to the identity lost on armor with the removal of the set and random buffs seen in Destiny 1. It’s a good move but still one that needs expanding.

 

Raid Reward Rework

  • We are updating Raid rewards to make them more unique and interesting. They will now feature mods with Raid-specific perks, and we are adjusting the rewards to ensure a Raid item drops from each major encounter. The Raid vendor will also directly sell Leviathan and Eater of Worlds armor and weapons for purchase with Raid tokens and Legendary Shards.
  • We are also adding a new Ghost with Raid-specific perks that has a chance to drop from the Leviathan and Eater of Worlds final encounters. We intend to return to creating more Raid and other activity-unique rewards in the future.

Our Thoughts:

Raid gear in the current game doesn’t offer the power boost seen in Destiny 1, with raid items offering a considerable amount of extra gameplay benefits and prestige to players who own them, even if only confined to the raid itself. Weapons and armor would offer you a boost when fighting bosses, trash, or even just dealing with the mechanics. The lack of this system in D2 has lead too quickly to most raid armor being infused or replaced by an item with preferred stats that anyone can obtain. I don’t raid myself, but this lack of progress has taken a lot of the shine out of repeating these encounters that has lead to a lot of die-hard raiders from the first game just quitting. Doing the most challenging and time-consuming activities should offer you rewards past what us plebs in the cheap seats can get, and if doing so via power levels isn’t the plan, giving raiders perks and benefits the rest of us won’t get is as good an option. Reintroducing ships, emotes, and ghosts to these encounters will also help this.

 

February Update

Strike Scoring + High Score Tracking

Strike Scoring is coming to Nightfall and replacing the current time limit mechanic. The scoring is similar to the Destiny 1 system but with adjustments to emphasize competitive execution of Strike objectives and support for player selectable score modifiers. In February, Nightfall High Scores will be exposed in-game via new emblems and will unlock rewards. We also have plans for Clan and Community High Scores in the works.

Our Thoughts:

Timed strikes were a good idea but badly implemented. If they had based it on the Mythic+ model from World of Warcraft wherein finishing the instance within the timer rewards the player with a greater amount of items (We’ll ignore the keystone system aspect of this because it isn’t currently one within Destiny), while finishing the instance outside the timer still offers rewards but at a decreased amount, this would have been a good system to implement, but failing the team outright when the timer reaches zero, which added with the possibility of a poor selection of enemies and modifiers usually lead to more aggravation than a sense of challenge and reward. Changing this system to a tracked score should have been the way from the start. Offering players higher amounts of loot and cosmetic items should be a nice way to offset the more relaxed and casual nature to nightfall and prestige activities, a team of plebs like myself plugging away should still get to finish the strike, even if we know we’re getting less than the Raid clans would.

One would also hope the leaders of the season scoreboards would get extra rewards like unique cosmetics if they remain high on the list by seasons end, this will give players a reason to repeat Nightfalls even when they outgear it.

 

Mods 2.0

Work is underway on a full rework of armor and weapon mods. This will focus on reducing redundant mods, more unique theming, and greatly increasing their impact on your power. We are aiming for a February release, but the scope of the rework could push parts or all of it out to early spring. We will be evaluating how Mods play into the Bright Engram economy as a result, because we’re sensitive to pay-to-win outcomes.

Our Thoughts:

The current Mod system, while a good idea is sadly extremely shallow with only really recovery items and a few handling and reload mods being anything close to useful. Hopefully expanding Mods to feel more open and in the best tradition of Destiny, weird and unique, could go a long way to fixing much of the sameness that is the current norm in game. Also remove Mods from Eververse. Even if it’s not game breaking, no actual useful gameplay items should ever come from Microtransactions.

 

Quickplay Improvements

  • We are adjusting game mode rules to increase the pace of gameplay and power ammo acquisition in Quickplay.

PC Tower Chat

  • We are adding text chat to the Tower for the PC version of the game.

Exotic Repetition Reduction

  • This will prevent players from receiving the same Exotic twice in a row. You may still receive duplicates, just not consecutively.

Fireteam Members on Destination Map

  • You will finally be able to see the other members of your fireteam on the destination map. No more having to ask your fireteam where they went when they fast travel to another landing zone.

Our Thoughts:

I would like to be more happy about these, they’re all good changes, but they should have been in the game from day one and not a plan for months into the games’ life.

 

Spring 2018 Updates

Crucible

Crucible Rank

Beginning with Season 3 we will introduce Seasonal Crucible Ranks. There will be two different ranks for players to pursue:

  • Valor – A progression rank that goes up as you complete matches. Winning helps you move up faster, but there are no loss penalties.
  • Glory – A progression rank that goes up when you win and down when you lose. Performance is how you move up here.

Our Thoughts:

Bungie has balanced the game much more with PVP and competitive play in mind, so the lack of a progression system has been madness. Hopefully, these systems will help players who play Destiny 2 for the PVP side of things have more streamlined progress and a way of boasting of their kills.

 

Private Matches

  • Private Matches are coming to all players of Destiny 2. Players will be able to invite their friends to play on the map and mode of their choosing.

6v6 Playlist

  • We’re bringing 6v6 PvP to Destiny 2 in addition to the current 4v4 game modes.

Mayhem Event

  • Mayhem will return as a limited-time event during Season 3 and going forward.

Additional Fixes

  • We are making some changes to make quitting less common and behind-the-scenes security improvements to help improve the overall Crucible experience.

Our Thoughts:

6v6 is back, praise the traveler. While 4v4 works well for the competitive mode, which should be more about teamwork and planning, in the quickplay modes it just reinforces a sense of uniformity with players breaking off to flank often being punished, rather than being useful, when a team of 4 players grouping up just destroys you. This added with more game modes, many weirdly cut from the game after being much praised in Destiny 1, is another thing that leaves me scratching my head as to their absence.

 

Additional Highlights

Weapon and Ability Balance Pass

  • Sandbox adjustments based on player feedback and data from the live game. The Sandbox team will share specific changes as we lead up to Season 3.

Exotic Weapon and Armor Balance Pass

  • Exotic weapons and armor are receiving a comprehensive design pass to ensure they stand out from the rest of the gear and offer new, exciting, powerful ways to play.

Our Thoughts:

Destiny 2 feels slow. Compared to the first game everything feels like it’s running at half speed like a negative modifier is always on.

If these changes are to be useful, they really need to look into balancing the game more with PVE and PVP split. Currently playing in PVP without stacking your group can feel punishing with the lack of abilities locked away behind snail pace timers, a system understandable in PVP but in PVE just add to the feeling of ennui.

Exotics too need a firm look. Currently very few feel as exciting or game-changing as in the first game, so much to the point that many high-end raiders use 3 legendary weapons instead of an exotic. Bungie need to buff them across the board and really embrace the weirdness of the older weapons from the game, hell, I’d kill for a No Man’s Land right about now.

 

Seasonal Reputation

  • Specific vendors will now display a Seasonal ranking. Earning reputation will unlock unique Seasonal rewards and will reset each Season.

Improved Iron Banner and Faction Rallies

  • In addition to the changes that you will see when Iron Banner and Faction Rallies return this month, we will continue iterating on these to make them unique, exciting experiences that you all look forward to.

Playlist Repetition Reduction

  • This feature solves the problem of experiencing the same playlist entry multiple times in consecutive or frequent succession for both Crucible and Strikes.

End Game Player Pursuits

  • We agree with your feedback on the imbalance between Achievement and Bright Engram rewards, and we will be making adjustments to shift more rewards into specific endgame pursuits instead of generic XP grinding for Bright Engrams. We are excited to share the details as soon as we have them worked out.

Our Thoughts:

I think this is too vague to really give much of an opinion on, more end game content, even if only cosmetic, is badly needed and its absence is a big problem in game. Let’s hope this is a good few steps forward and not a leap back.

 

Multi-Emote

  • When multi-emote launches, you will be able to choose which emote you have equipped to each of your four emote slots.

Vault space

  • We are targeting an additional 50 slots to player vaults. We don’t believe just adding more space is a complete solution and are actively working on other changes to reduce load on your vault space.
    We are adding an Exotic accessory tab to Vault collections so you will no longer need to spend Vault space on Exotic Ships, Sparrows, and Ghosts.

PC Clan Chat

  • In addition to the Tower chat that is targeted for February, we are adding clan chat to the PC version of the game.

Heroic Strike Changes

  • We’ll be introducing modifiers to add more gameplay variety to the experience.

Our Thoughts:

Vault space needs more than just 50 slots, but they seem to know that so it’s hard to fault them on it. Mod slots and Shaders NEED to remove the limits on their sections at the very least. Still, these are good quality of life improvements, PC chat, Multi-Emote and Heroic strike modifiers have been promised for a while now, so here’s hoping they actually make it before Destiny 3 comes out.

Destiny 2 XP Throttling Sneakily Activated

 

Fall 2018 (or sooner)

We are working on a lot more that we’re not quite ready to discuss. Expect more on this small sample of items in the future:
Item Collections and Records

  • Weapon Slot and Archetype Improvements
  • Additional Crucible Playlists (e.g. Rumble)
  • Better Clan Rewards
  • Masterwork Exotics
  • Pinnacle Weapon and Gear Improvements
  • Trials of the Nine improvements
  • Shaders and dismantling
  • The Future of Guided Games
  • Address Solo Vs Fireteam matching

 

Our Final Thoughts

All in all, this is a promising list of changes going forward. Many of the items here have been on repeated wishlists within the Destiny community since the game’s launch and sadly, many of them are lessons that were learned from the first game and then ignored. It’s getting harder to put faith in Bungie as more and more of these “We’ll fix it this time!” wishlists get posted, only for more things to go missing or break, but they have fixed this before.

One has to wonder why they needed to learn this at all, nearly all of these are things either added into Destiny 1 or that have been demanded by the community for a while now. Destiny 2 feels like so much of the hard earned and massively well-received progress from the first game was jettisoned without anything being added to replace it. With the first game, these glaring absences could be forgiven. It was the first time the developer had tried something of this scale and the work they put into fixing it made good on the promise the game had made, but now? They’re falling into the same pitfalls they had previously filled in and are promising better signage.

Time will have to be the judge of it all.

The post Destiny 2 2018 Developer Update: The Comprehensive Breakdown appeared first on MMOGames.com.

The State of Destiny 2 Changes and Break Down

It’s no secret that Destiny 2 has had somewhat of a turbulent time as of late, with the player base in uproar over an underwhelming end game, badly balanced exotics, an overabundance of RNG, and lack of any real progression after 305 Light, as well as this weekend’s discovery of an exp throttling system tied directly to the games’ paid loot box system, it is fair to say that Destiny fans around the world were about ready to grab their space pitchforks and form a space mob.

Seeing the rising tide, Bungie decided to cancel last night’s livestream detailing next week’s launch of the new DLC ‘The Curse of Osiris’ and instead focus on a blog post looking at player feedback and the changes to Destiny 2, both in the coming weeks and not too distant future.

The full list of items can be found here but here are some of the highlights. I will be adding my personal thoughts to these changes as well.

Masterwork Weapons

Legendary Weapons above 250 Light will now have the chance to become Masterwork Weapons with a new added weapon bonus (the example shown was a faster reload speed) which is chosen from a random pool of perks and can be rerolled as well as including a kill tracker and the ability to generate orbs of light from multi-kills, high-end Raid and PVP weapons will have a “very high” chance to become Masterwork and unwanted Masterwork items can be dismantled for items to upgrade non-masterwork legendaries. This will be added on 12/12.

This is a much-needed change. The static nature of perks in the Destiny 2 legendaries is one of the sorest points in the community and helped kill a lot of the replay value of activities once the light cap had been reached. Adding in this small change, while a minor increase to the RNG in the game, adds to some of the excitement of getting legendaries that the current game lacks. Players of the high-end and more difficult content, even as a very casual player of the game, is a good and much-needed addition to the system, rewarding a core group of the community that has sadly been ignored in the current game.

Legendary Shards

Legendary Shards are now… actually useful. A number of sweeping changes to vendors is being implemented from December 5th to the 12th that will balance many of the RNG methods formerly used to gain gear in Destiny 2. All vendors will now have the option to trade faction tokens and Legendary shards for a selection of weapons (which rotate weekly) and every armor piece belonging to the set sold by that faction vendor. This includes short time events such as Faction Rallies and Iron Banner. Players will need to trade in tokens for reputation engrams, just like they did in season 1 of the game in order to unlock these rewards (increasing by 1 hand-in per item) but Bungie has confirmed that this will carry over from season 1, so players who have already gained 8 or so faction rewards will have everything unlocked from the start.

Seeing players currently sat on 2-3k Legendary Shards is never a good look for what used to be one of the most important currencies in Destiny, with only Xur and rebuying already-owned exotics left to use them on (I myself currently sit on a stockpile of 2,000 of the damn things). The ability to trade these in directly for items is, to be honest, the best change of the list. The insane system currently in-game did more to punish players than anything else, especially with limited time events in limited time seasons, meaning players who did everything right could still miss out on core parts of an armor because of a bad roll of the dice. For instance, my Titan never did get the Iron Banner chest even after 30 or so engrams. The need to gain faction rewards via Token hand-ins before unlocking these works as a great replacement for the old faction level system that means a player has to put in some rewards beforehand.

Exotics and Mods

Xur will be getting new items, one of which will be a Fated Engram which for 96 Legendary shards once per week can reward a new exotic item that the player doesn’t already own. This will start 12/12.

“A new Exotic Item the Player doesn’t own”… 10/10 Destiny 2 Game of the year, every year. Okay, not quite (that is still Pokémon SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS) but as someone who sat on a pile of 15 Graviton lances and 12 Doomfang Pauldrons before the damn Sweet Business dropped, a 100% new Exotic every week is a godsend.

The Gunsmith will now offer players a daily selection of Epic Mods that players can buy straight away for 5 Mod Components and 10 Legendary Shards (available 12/5), as well as Engrams being available for Legendary Shards (12/12), Bungie also mention big changes to the mods system that will come in 2018.

They have confirmed Kinetic weapon Mods are included in this, so thank the Nine.

Armor Ornaments

New season 2 reputation armor sets will now have cosmetic upgrades called ‘Armor Ornaments’ which are unlocked by completing short tasks within the game world (the example given is: Win 25 Iron Banner matches for the IB Titan Mark ornament), this will be rewarded for Vanguard, Crucible, the 3 Player Factions, Trial of the Nine, The World Eater raid, and Iron Banner. This will be added 12/5.

This system was added in Destiny 1 and honestly, I can’t think why it was removed. Giving players a way to show off their progress and letting focused players get a visual representation of their ability is a great system for a game that REALLY needs one, I only hope these challenges are difficult to complete.

Consumables

Vanguard and Crucible vendors will now sell consumables that reward every player in a Strike or Crucible (yes even enemy players) with extra rewards such as faction tokens and exotic engrams. This is being implemented on 12/12.

Faction Rep items are being buffed across the board with token drops and planet gathering item reputation being increased greatly. To make up for this, planet faction and Gunsmith reputation amounts are being increased, this goes into effect on 12/5.

Exploit safeguards on Chests and Resource Nodes (AKA Token Throttling) is being removed, or at least reduced dramatically, meaning players who play a lot will no longer be punished for doing so.

Both of these changes make sense, Punishing players who play constantly is never a good look and locking them out from rewards just leaves them with a sense of wondering why they even bother. I can’t see why this was even added in the first place.

Destiny 2 XP Throttling Sneakily Activated

Going Forward

Bungie also laid out their plans for the game going into 2018, as well as reminding players of points raised in the past State of Destiny 2 update which can be found here. Part of the update is also a reminder of the new Heroic Strikes and Adventures which will provide more content and rewards for players. Mention is also made of their commitment to making the fiendishly difficult Prestige content (set for the January update) much more rewarding for players as at the moment, bar some cool cosmetic items, once you reach 305 Light they are pretty much pointless.

Experience

The EXP throttling and stealth exp nerf was brought up as well with mention of the current 160k per level being too slow for many players. Bungie made mention of plans to alter this after feedback and data from players has been obtained, but little else was mentioned on this front.

 

Overall this seems like a massive step in the right direction for much of what the Destiny 2 community has been clamoring for. More rewards for endgame players, more stuff to collect and a loot system not completely based on RNG. Time will tell if it is enough to save the playerbase, as the dark years of year one of the first Destiny game might have drained any patience the playerbase had (even if the game, by year 2, was the classic it was supposed to be at launch). Bungie has proven before they can turn the game around but one has to ask why, with all the lessons learned from the first game, has so much been forgotten since then? Destiny 2 was their chance to prove Destiny as a staple of the online gaming world, and it seems we’ve ended up with another pseudo early access game.

Sadly, no mention was made of the Seasonal Perverse system and its kinda predatory system of removing items that the player can mostly only get from pure RNG. Locking all Cosmetic Emotes, Ghost Shells, ships and Sparrows behind a RNG casino paywall and THEN throttling the only way to get them (this is the real reason anyone should be angry about the EXP throttling by the way) is bad enough, adding a hard time-limit to these items which, again, you can mostly only get by pure chance, is predatory at the least. This, in a full priced game no less, hasn’t gotten much traction from gamers as of late, partly because of the focus on the other problems with the game and mostly because everyone is queueing up at EA’s door at the moment but regardless, its lack of mention in this has left a bitter aftertaste to the post.

The post The State of Destiny 2 Changes and Break Down appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Destiny 2 XP Throttling Secretly Activated

On Friday we reported on a potential XP cap when grinding in Destiny 2 that would see players who gain XP at a much faster rate to others throttled, slowing down the amount of time it took to get the next free Bright Engram. Over the weekend, Bungie came out and admitted that yes, this was actually a system that was secretly in place, but they recognized that they weren’t happy with it and would be switching it off.

However, it seems that the party doesn’t stop there as players found that Bungie had implemented a new caveat in doubling the amount of XP needed to gain a new level. Without saying a word to its players until they had worked it out for themselves.

Destiny 2 XP Throttling Sneakily Activated

So now it is quicker to grind out those public events, about 6% quicker, in fact. But leveling up now requires 160K XP up from 80K XP, across the board. Players, naturally, aren’t happy about this, with many suggesting the Destiny 2 XP throttling is intended to lengthen the amount of time required to earn free Bright Engrams, which are of course the game’s loot boxes.

Destiny 2 Game Director, Luke Smith, tweeted that himself and Project Lead Mark Noseworthy will be answering questions that players have been asking since launch. We shall keep an eye out for that and hope we get some answers.

Our Thoughts

We understand that finding an appropriate balance in game development is difficult as all heck but this whole situation is just plain weird. If you’re upfront and honest about the systems in place within the game, there’s so much less reason for players to be mad. It’s the bizarre sneakiness and dishonesty with this particular balancing act that has us scratching our heads. Yes, it’s a holiday weekend, but XP slowdowns are a pretty huge thing for the way in which people play the game. And the fact that this all ties into the game’s loot boxes feels sketchy.

Source: Bungie Statement, Eurogamer

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Destiny 2 Power Level Cap Revealed

The hype is swirling around Destiny 2 right now with the console launch imminent though we didn’t know what the gear cap would be. Well now we finally know what the Destiny 2 power level cap will be thanks to leaks from the official game guide, and this time around it will cap out at 300, this, of course, being on top of the experience levels ending at 20.

Destiny 2 Launch Trailer

Power levels in Destiny 2 are worked out by averaging out the attack and defense values of your equipped armor, and every piece can offer a stream of upgrades until you reach power level 260. To push past this point to the 300 cap, you must take part in weekly Milestones, which will likely consist of Nightfall, Flashpoint, featured story missions, Strikes, and Crucible matches.

The game guide leak also includes information on subclasses, the final campaign mission, Strikes, the Crucible, and more, which you can check out here but fair warning: there will be spoilers ahead.

Our Thoughts

The way Destiny 2 power levels will work sound incredibly similar to the original game’s Light system, so it’s nice to see some familiarity for long-time players. It does look at though it will be worth holding off on doing Milestones until you hit that initial 260 plateau, however, if you want to reach the cap as quickly as possible, which you likely will if you want to check out the raid that unlocks on September 13th.

It’s all so close now! What are your plans for launch?

Source: Reddit via PCGamesN

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